I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, and always also not wanted to. The second part is easy, I don’t want to be a teacher because it’s one of the hardest jobs ever, being responsible for the progression and development of a bunch of kids who may not want to learn from you at all. It only takes a single watch of “Educating…” (current series is Educating the East End) to see that. The first part is a bit more complicated, so I thought it was probably worth a blog post.
First and foremost, I love teaching. I’ve done several informal teaching jobs through my life and I’ve loved every single one, because there is honestly nothing better than watching people learn and discover new things. I think adults lose the joy of learning very quickly, which is such a shame. I’m a prime example – I’m still a student, and I love it, but then I’m writing a blog post rather than my thesis. The love is still there, but the joy isn’t quite any more.
I also love the idea of helping people find themselves. “The Breakfast Club” is the classic coming of age film, and I remember watching my friends find themselves and learn about their own ways of thinking, their personal philosophies and politics with the help of teachers and through our school years. I’d love to be able to support young people through that time, because it’s so formative.
I think my biggest motivation towards being a teacher is that I love languages and English Literature, and I’d love to pass on everything I know about them to others. The decline of language teaching in the UK is depressing, and I hope to be part of the wave of language teachers who change that and show that languages open up the world to people. That would be the best result of all.
So I don’t know whether I’ll become a teacher, and the prospect is very scary, but if I do, I hope I can manage everything I’ve said here.